Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Chocolate profiteroles

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

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home-made chocolate profiteroles | H is for Home

It’s that time of year again; The Great British Bake Off is back on television.

Chocolate profiteroles ingredients

In celebration, I thought I’d make a Mary Berry recipe. I was planning to make the frosted walnut layer cake that featured in last week’s opening episode, but Justin asked for profiteroles.

Profiterole batter

I’ve not made choux pastry since I was at catering college way back in the 1980s. From what I remember of the episode, it was a disaster – perhaps the reason I’ve not revisited the recipe since!

adding eggs to profiterole batter

After 30 years I was ready to face those demons…

Profiterole batter rounds on a baking tray

…and there was nothing to worry about after all.

making chocolate sauce

It was quite straightforward, taking about an hour to produce a lovely pyramid of airy profiteroles.

whipped cream

They kept us quiet for a while!!

Chocolate profiteroles
Yields 12
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the choux pastry
  1. 60g/2oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  2. 150ml/5fl oz water
  3. 75g/2½oz plain flour
  4. 2 large eggs, beaten
For the filling
  1. 300ml/10fl oz whipping cream
For the topping
  1. 100g/3½oz plain dark chocolate
  2. 100ml/3½ fl oz double cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (fan 200ºC)/425ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with water
For the choux pastry
  1. Put the butter in a heavy-based saucepan with the water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil
  2. Remove from the heat and add the flour and a pinch of salt. Stir vigorously
  3. When a smooth paste develops, return the pan to the heat, stirring. The mixture will dry out a little and form a soft ball that comes away from the sides of the pan
  4. Remove the pan from the heat again, leave the mixture to cool slightly, then gradually add the eggs, beating really well between each addition until the mixture is smooth and glossy
  5. Dollop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet leaving room between each for them to spread a bit
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190ºC (fan 170ºC)/375ºF/Gas mark 5 and bake for a further 20 minutes
  7. Transfer the profiteroles to a wire rack to cool completely. Once they've cooled, pierce the base of each to the diameter of your narrowest piping nozzle. If you don't have a piping bag & nozzle, slice each profiterole in half horizontally
For the filling
  1. Whip the whipping cream until firm, put into a piping bag fitted with a round, narrow nozzle and pipe it into the hole in the bottom of each profiterole. If you don't have a piping bag & nozzle, spoon a dollop on to the bottom half of each profiterole before replacing the top
For the the topping
  1. Put the chocolate and double cream into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth and shiny
  2. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave the sauce at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until it is cool and thick enough to coat the profiteroles without dripping down the sides
  3. Carefully dip the top of each profiterole into the chocolate sauce
Adapted from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Muesli loaf

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

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Home-made muesli loaf with dolcelatte blue cheese | H is for Home

 It’s a lovely, rustic bloomer for this week’s Cakes & Bakes.

Muesli loaf ingredients

It’s made with oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit – hence the name muesli loaf.

Muesli loaf ingredients

Use whatever you have in the cupboard or pantry – it’s actually a great way for using up half packets of things you might have left over from other recipes.

Bubbling yeast

We included flaked almonds, sesame seeds and golden linseeds in ours.

Muesli loaf ingredients Muesli loaf ingredients

We do think that some dried fruit is a vital ingredient though. A hearty loaf punctuated by the subtle sweetness of the fruit works really well – as well as the sultanas that we added, you could try using figs, dates, raisins, dried apricots or cranberries… or a mixture!

Uncooked muesli loaf

It’s delicious on its own with butter… but also has lots of potential partners such as cured meats, cheese, honey and jams.

Freshly baked muesli loaf

In the same way that blue cheese and digestive biscuits are a match made in heaven, so was our muesli bread & dolcelatte combination – a real winner!

Pin in from here for later!

Muesli loaf
Yields 1
Quick, nutritious and tasty loaf
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Prep Time
2 hr 20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 50 min
Prep Time
2 hr 20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 50 min
Ingredients
  1. 10g/ ⅓oz instant dried yeast
  2. 1tsp sugar (optional)
  3. 600ml warm water
  4. 500g/17½oz plain flour
  5. 400g/14oz wholemeal flour
  6. 100g/3½oz porridge or rolled oats
  7. 75g/2⅔oz mixed nuts & seeds
  8. 100g/3½oz dried fruit
  9. 5g/116oz salt
Instructions
  1. In a large measuring jug, add the yeast to the warm water. If your yeast needs a bit of help, stir in a teaspoon of sugar to the mixture
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and combine. Make a well in the centre
  3. Once the yeast mixture has begun to bubble, pour into the well of the dry ingredients
  4. Bring the mixture together with your hands or dough scraper until a large ball is formed
  5. Empty out the dough ball on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a good 10 minutes
  6. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)
  7. Empty out the dough back onto the lightly floured work surface, knock back and form into a bloomer shape before placing on a large, well-greased baking tray
  8. Allow to prove again, covered in clingfilm, in a warm place for another hour
  9. Preheat the oven to 250ºC/475ºF/Gas mark 9
  10. Score the top of the loaf diagonally a few times before putting into the hot oven
  11. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  12. Cook for a further 20 minutes until the top becomes golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when knocked
  13. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying!
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Pin the recipe here to try later!

Redcurrant mazarin tart
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For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . . Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/